How Does Barometric Pressure Affect Fishing?


The key to determining the ideal time for fishing is understanding how the weather affects fish behavior. If you are just getting started with fishing, something you may not understand is how barometric pressure and fishing are related.

Barometric pressure can affect the amount of success you have every time you put on your fishing hat. By helping you figure out the answer to the question “how does barometric pressure affect fishing?”, we hope to make reeling in a catch much easier for you.

What Is Barometric Pressure?

Before we talk about the relationship existing between barometric pressure and fishing, understanding what the term barometric pressure means may be a good idea. Essentially, the term barometric pressure is used to refer to the force exerted by the weight of the air column, pushing down on a specific area. It is not uncommon for the barometric pressure to be referred to as air pressure or atmospheric pressure.

In weather observations, barometric pressure is instrumental. Its fluctuation indicates the movements of weather systems and fronts. Generally, high pressure is responsible for calm, clear, and dry weather. Low pressure, on the other hand, is generally responsible for windy, cloudy, and wet weather.

Since air tends to move from regions featuring high pressure to low-pressure regions, this can easily intensify weather conditions in zones featuring low pressures.

In the United States, the barometric pressure is usually measured in inches mercury (inHg). However, the official measurement unit according to the World Meteorological Organization is the hectopascals (hPa). It is also not uncommon to find barometric pressure measured in millibars (mbar).

At sea level, the standard pressure is usually 29.82 inHg (1013 hPa). Any reading above and below this standard is considered to be high and low pressure respectively.

The Effect of Barometric Pressure on Fish

The effect that air pressure has on fish is largely dependent on whether the fish has a big or small air bladder. The fish which have a small air bladder, including kings, Spanish mackerel, and wahoo, are not largely affected by the barometric pressure.

Fish that feature a bigger air bladder, including the trout, snapper, grouper, tarpon, and redfish, are largely affected by the barometric pressure change. As the air pressure drops, their air bladders will expand, hence, increasing their discomfort. To reduce the discomfort, the fish usually moves down in the water column.

Note: The fish with small air bladders usually feed on the fish which have the bigger air bladders. Hence, they follow them.

Changing Barometric Pressure and The Effect It Has on Fishing

Your barometer can make it possible for you to determine when you should wear your fishing shoes and pack everything you will need on your fishing trip. In this section, you will get ideal answers to the question “how does barometric pressure affect fishing?”. As you will probably note, the relationship between barometric pressure and fishing changes as the barometric pressure changes.

Rising Barometric Pressure


As the air pressure increases, the weather condition improves. The fish movement becomes more active. If you intend to go after walleye while the pressure is rising, you should pack brightly colored walleye lures and jigs. In general, most fish species respond much better to brightly colored lures when the pressure is rising.

High Pressures

When the barometric pressure reaches its highest point, the weather will become clearer. The sunlight becomes bright. At this point, the fish will try to locate a cover. This generally forces the fish to swim in the ocean depth.

In these circumstances, you should focus on fishing techniques ideal for slower fishing. To increase your chances of success, you should focus more on using weedless hooks and vertical jigging. This will make it possible for you to cast your baits into the sea depth where your target fish will be hiding.

In high-pressure conditions, the fish will seek cover among logs and weeds. If the waters become too warm, the fish may stop biting.

Falling Barometric Pressure

When the barometric pressure starts dropping, the weather conditions generally become worse. The majority of the fish will start moving aggressively. Also, their feeding activity will increase

When the barometric pressure is falling, you should consider using spinnerbaits. Also, crankbaits can make it possible for you to land fish. Focusing on topwater presentations or shallow baits may offer you more convenience.

Low Pressure

When the pressures are falling, the conditions are generally stormier and rainier. The fish becomes less active.

If you are still intending to go fishing during these stormy and rainy conditions, you should spool enough braided fishing line or monofilament line to allow you to reach the depths of the ocean. Presenting the baits in the ocean depth will make it possible for you to attract the fish which have already settled at the bottom. Slow bait presentation should help you achieve much better results.

Feeding Times

Catching fish is generally easier if you are fishing during the active feeding times. One thing you probably have noted is that the majority of the fish will be more active during the barometer pressure shifts. What this tells you is that the fish will feed more just before the storm arrives and just after it has passed.

If you check the barometer and notice that it is showing a drop in the air pressure after a period of high air pressure, this could be an ideal time for fishing the faster bait. The fish will be more prepared to chase it down.

It is worth noting that the fish may take a couple of hours to adjust to the pressure changes so that they can start feeding again. This means that your target fish may not be ready to feed again until about 24 hours after the storm passes.

Globo Surf Overview

To someone who is not very familiar with fishing, the relationship between barometric pressure and fishing may seem too complicated to understand. After going through this article, however, figuring out the answer to the question “how does barometric pressure affect fishing?” should be easy.

Basically, the barometric pressure affects where you will find the target fish and how willing they are to feed. To increase your odds of landing your target fish, you should focus on going after the target fish during the shifts in barometric pressure. During these periods, fish are usually more willing to feed.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!